Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, a 40 day period in the liturgical year leading up to Easter. The Lenten season is traditionally a time to focus on prayer, confession and spiritual renewal.
During the Ash Wednesday service we come together to reflect on our need for Christ, confess our sins, read scripture, sing, partake in communion and in the placing of ashes on one’s forehead or hand. The symbolic act of placing ashes is done as a sign of sorrow and repentance as well as a reminder of our mortality “ashes to ashes, dust to dust”. We are not left here, however, for in receiving the sign of the ashes it reminds us that God’s love is triumphant over sin and death.